Saturday, August 17, 2013

ARROL-JOHNSTON - The Antarctican

George Johnston (1855 - 1945) was a Scottish Locomotive Engineer. In 1894 , Glasgow tramways had awarded him the contract to design a steam tram for them. Unfortunately the steam tram developed by him was destroyed in a  fire and the project was dropped.

Johnston, then concentrated on making a motor car powered by internal combustion engine. In 1895, along with Sir William Arrol (1839 - 1913), a famed Bridge Engineer, formed the company Mo-Car Syndicate Ltd.

The 1895 Mo-car  Dogcart , with two rows of seats placed back to back -


Mo-car dogcart was popular and was made till 1905. More models with different engine options were also introduced. A 1901 and a 1905 , Arrol-Johnston cars -



In 1905 , the company was renamed as Arrol-Johnston Car company.

In 1907 , one Arrol-Johnston car participated in the attempt of Ernest Shackleton  to reach Antarctica. Even though the car was used in the expedition, it could not  travel much due to tyres sinking in loose ice. An Arrol-Johnston car used in the Antarctica base camp -

This car was fitted with 12-15 HP , aircooled , 4-cyl engine. 

During the WWI , Arrol-Johnston shifted to manufacturing aircraft engines. Owning to financial troubles, in 1927,  the company was taken over by Aster Engineering company and the cars were branded as Arrol- Asters.

A 1929 Arrol-Aster -



Finally the Arrol-Aster car company shut its doors by 1931

Arrol-Johnston logo -